Upgrading AGP video card


B

BarryB

I am needing to do some video editing and want to upgrade my video
card. My current operating system is Windows XP SP3. The board's
processor is a 1GHz processor (AMD Athlon) with 1024MB of RAM.

I have one AGP slot (2.0 compliant) and an empty PCI slot below it.
My motherboard (Gigabyte 7ZX) BIOS can go up to 4x but the Catalyst
driver is seeing my current ATI Radeon 7000 VE as a 2x with no Fast
Write. The card has 64MB of onboard memory.

Would an 8x work on this board? Or, should I go for just a 4x, 2x/4x
or a 4x/8x card?

Thanks in advance!
 
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Y

Yousuf Khan

BarryB said:
I am needing to do some video editing and want to upgrade my video
card. My current operating system is Windows XP SP3. The board's
processor is a 1GHz processor (AMD Athlon) with 1024MB of RAM.

I have one AGP slot (2.0 compliant) and an empty PCI slot below it.
My motherboard (Gigabyte 7ZX) BIOS can go up to 4x but the Catalyst
driver is seeing my current ATI Radeon 7000 VE as a 2x with no Fast
Write. The card has 64MB of onboard memory.

Would an 8x work on this board? Or, should I go for just a 4x, 2x/4x
or a 4x/8x card?

Thanks in advance!

There was a big change in slots between 2x and 4x AGP. The 8x AGP just
uses the same slot as the 4x.

Regarding video editing, that's a very CPU intensive activity, and the
video card is not really involved in that. So you can upgrade your AGP,
but I doubt you'll find any performance difference. The speed of the
graphics card connector is more important when playing games, where a
lot of the game graphics is actually done on the fly in the video card.
Video editing on the other hand is mainly carried out through the CPU,
and transferred relatively quickly through the AGP as just raw video, no
processing really done on the GPU.

Yousuf Khan
 
C

Christian Brandt

Yousuf said:
There was a big change in slots between 2x and 4x AGP. The 8x AGP just
uses the same slot as the 4x.
I remember that some voltages got changed too, so putting a very old
and nonstandard gfx board into a new mother board could fry both.
Regarding video editing, that's a very CPU intensive activity, and the
video card is not really involved in that. So you can upgrade your AGP,
Even within games the AGP bus speed is pretty much useless, I didn't
notice the slightest change when I played around with my Geforce6800 and
AGPx1 and AGPx8. And if the fastest native AGP solution doesn't profit
from higher AGP speeds, what solution does?

(native solution like in "everything later was already PCIe with a
bridge solution")

Christian Brandt
 
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Y

YKhan

I remember that some voltages got changed too, so putting a very old
and nonstandard gfx board into a new mother board could fry both.
Not really, the older 2x AGP boards would not likely even fit into a
4x/8x AGP slot. There were some mobos with something called a
Universal AGP slot, which was able to handle all of the possible
voltages.
Even within games the AGP bus speed is pretty much useless, I didn't
notice the slightest change when I played around with my Geforce6800 and
AGPx1 and AGPx8. And if the fastest native AGP solution doesn't profit
from higher AGP speeds, what solution does?
It's because the design of games changed from CPU-intensive to GPU-
intensive. In CPU-intensive games, the majority of the calculations
were carried out by the CPU in system memory, and then just
transferred pre-processed to the video frame buffer. That required a
lot of speed between system memory and video memory. But then when the
games changed over to GPU-intensive, the data was processed and
displayed from only the video memory. There wasn't as much transfer
going on between the system memory (the CPU's domain) and the video
memory (the GPU's domain). So the AGP bus became much less important.
It's also mainly the same case with the current PCI-e bus, as most of
the calculations are carried out within the GPU domain. The only time
PCI-e's speed now comes into effect is when you have a dual-card setup
like Crossfire or SLI, and that's because the two video cards are
often transferring data between one another, rather than to the CPU.

In video editing on the other hand, it's still CPU intensive, but
really the data that gets sent to the video card is already pre-
processed at the CPU, and the video card is now acting just as an old-
fashioned dumb-frame-buffer. As a dumb-frame buffer there was already
plenty of bandwidth available even in the old AGP x1 bus. For video
editing, you have to get a faster CPU and larger system memory, that's
all there is to it. Video editing vs. games are the exact two opposite
ends of the spectrum as far as graphics applications go.

Yousuf Khan
 

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